Monday, July 19, 2010

Play "Phone Grip Roulette"

In case you haven't heard, there's a bit of a ruckus regarding Apple's
latest iPhone.  Not so much from the overwhelming majority of the three
million (3,000,000!) people who actually bought an iPhone 4 in the past
three weeks, just various bloggers, journalists and commenters.
Personally, I think Apple has responded appropriately.  But then I am a
long-time Apple fan and wannabe iPhone developer ;)

Regardless of your standpoint regarding the so-called 'Antennagate', the
fact that other phones can do the disappearing signal trick means people
have a new game to play when they get together: whoever can make their
phones drop the most bars in 30 seconds, wins.  People could play "Phone
Grip Roulette" to break deadlocks, instead of "rock, paper, scissors".

Apple has put up a page showing various phones having the signal wrung
out of them without much effort:
Featured phones include RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, and
Samsung Omnia II.

And it's not just 3G and/or smartphones.  I can make my eight year old
Sony Ericsson drop from five bars to two.  Here are some amusing videos
of other phones dropping bars:
* Nokia E71
* Nokia 5800
* Motorola Droid Incredible
* RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650
* Google Nexus One
* Palm Pre
* HTC Hero

I guess a lot more people are going to want free cases!

Some other thoughts and observations:
1. Maybe it's a good thing that the signal can be blocked easily by
   human flesh, since phones get placed near our brains and there's no
   conclusive guarantee that they're 100% safe.
2. Maybe the problem extends beyond the small percentage that have
   returned their iPhones, and they consider it a feature to be able to
   disrupt a call at will without actually hanging up?
3. If this 'problem' has existed with many phones over the years, why
   have other manufacturers been left off the hook?
4. If it all turns out to be a massive beat-up, I'm sure those people
   profiting from the advertising and other revenue via their blogs and
   the press will donate their ill-gotten gains to charity.  Somehow I
   doubt it.